Stevenson "ahead of schedule" as she seeks British taekwondo place at London 2012 after injury
Wednesday, 09 May 2012
May 9 - Britain's world taekwondo champion Sarah Stevenson, who had surgery on a cruciate knee ligament in February, is "ahead of schedule" as she seeks to challenge for medals at London 2012, according to British Taekwondo performance director Gary Hall.
Speaking after his team had won three gold medals at the European Championships in Manchester – through Aaron Cook, Michael Harvey and Muhammad Lutalo – Hall said the 29-year-old from Doncaster had been "constantly working out from 8.30 in the morning to 7.30 at night", adding: "She has done everything as we would expect from a full on professional to get ready for selection.
"In the last couple of weeks, we have watched her doing kicking sessions and she looks really good.
"There is still some combat and contact work to be done.
"But if you envisage where we thought she might be, she is well ahead of that.
"And that's testimony to all the staff as well as Sarah.
"We have got a world-class coaching team."
Stevenson, who lost both her mother and father to illness last year, has been out of action for a year and had to relinquish her European title without a kick in anger.
But she remains in the frame for Olympic selection at -67 kg four years after winning a bronze medal in Beijing (pictured below).
Hall will sit down soon with his fellow selectors to formulate his four-strong team for London 2012 with an announcement to be made on May 25.
He does so against the backdrop of a record breaking performance by Britain at the European Championships that yielded seven medals, including two in four of the Olympic weight division, and the overall team prize for the men's squad.
"It was a great Championship for us and there were some phenomenal performances especially Lutalo [Muhammad], Aaron [Cook] and Michael [Harvey] all putting golds on the table," he said.
"Martin Stamper's performance was very good and Bianca Walkden was desperately unlucky not to get in to the medal zone.
"The selectors have to do their jobs now but we know when we get to London we will have a strong team."
March 2012: Britain's injured taekwondo champion Stevenson recovering fast for London 2012
February 2012: Stevenson's London 2012 bid in jeopardy after knee injury
December 2011: Stevenson and Armitt head New Year Honours List
December 2011: Sarah Stevenson claims Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year gong
November 2011: Exclusive - Sarah Stevenson going for London 2012 gold in tribute to her late parents